Drone industry boosters pilot controversial local growth plan

David Wagner, Fronteras Desk

When it comes to the controversial unmanned aircraft known as drones, business is booming. That could mean scores of new jobs for San Diego, but privacy defenders say courting the drone industry could cost us our civil liberties.

Imagining swarms of drones hovering over most of Southern California makes a lot of residents uneasy, but that’s exactly what Sean Barr of the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation hopes to see.

Barr has been working with a coalition of local defense industry advocates to brand San Diego as the drone capital of the world. To ensure that drone makers put down stakes in San Diego, Barr and his allies are trying to convince the FAA to base a lucrative drone test site here. The range they’re envisioning would be expansive.